The Daily Valet. - 1/23/24, Tuesday
✔️ Would You Say That This Is Worth It?
Tuesday, January 23rd Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
When was the last time you sent something via regular old snail mail?
Today’s Big Story
Is College Worth It?
Three generations of ‘college for all’ in the U.S. has left most families looking for alternatives
Is college really worth it? The short answer, is of course, yes. But when the average cost of four years at an American university is around $150,000, it does make you wonder if there are other ways to learn and prepare for a career.It's a question that's been raised by several academics and media outlets recently. For the nearly 18 million young people enrolling in higher education this year, their college degree will likely be the most consequential investment they make. According to U.S. News & World Report, students today need to determine whether an institution not only represents the “right choice”, but also delivers the best value or highest return on investment.Investing in college has historically yielded significant benefits, including greater career opportunities, higher earning potential and a better quality of life for millions of Americans. The data has also reinforced the value of a college education, both financially and otherwise. The Economic Data Initiative reveals that the return on investment of a bachelor's degree over a 20-year period has been 38.1%, with a lifetime ROI of 287.7% ... But is that still true?In the past decade, the percentage of Americans who expressed a lot of confidence in higher education fell from 57% to 36%, reports the Wall Street Journal. A decline in undergraduate enrollment since 2011 has translated into 3 million fewer students on campus. Nearly half of parents say they would prefer not to send their children to a four-year college after high school, even if there were no obstacles, financial or otherwise. Two-thirds of high-school students think they will be just fine without a college degree.Many worry that a college education is too expensive and that the doors to too many good schools remain locked to students who lack the “right” qualifications or connections. Even though they understand that a college credential would enhance their future, they wonder whether taking on debt to finance such schooling would delay or even abort their launch into those careers. Forbes called those worries “justified.” But they also said that the value of college can't be reduced to merely dollars and cents. “Money matters, of course, but education beyond high school helps people take ownership of their lives, break through societal barriers, and find satisfaction in living them.”
Some high school seniors have already received offers of admission to college for the next academic year—even though they didn’t formally apply.
Supreme Court Backs Biden on Border
Border Patrol agents will be able to remove razor wire installed by Texas at Mexico border
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted the Biden administration's request to vacate an injunction in the Texas razor wire saga. Border Patrol agents will be able to resume cutting the razor wire that Texas installed along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal migrant crossings.The ruling, by a 5-to-4 vote, was a victory for the administration in the increasingly bitter dispute between the White House and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, an outspoken critic of President Biden's border policy who has shipped busloads of migrants to northern cities. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.According to the Associated Press, migrants have been injured by the sharp wire and the Justice Department argued the barrier actually impedes the U.S. government's ability to patrol the border—including coming to the aid of migrants in need of help. The wire stretches for roughly 30 miles near the border city of Eagle Pass, where earlier this month the Texas Military Department seized control of a city-owned park and began denying access to Border Patrol agents. Eagle Park has become one of the busiest spots on the southern U.S. border for migrants illegally crossing from Mexico.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said “This fight is not over, and I look forward to defending our state's sovereignty.”
The Cost of Stamps Just Went Up Again
The U.S. Postal Service is raising the price of Forever stamps to 68 cents
I just bought some Forever stamps last week, and I had no idea it was such a sound investment. Because over the weekend, the U.S. Postal Service raised the cost of Forever stamps to 68 cents—up from the previous price of 66 cents. If you're keeping track, that was the fifth price increase in two years.The Postal Service said in a statement that the price adjustments are needed as “inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue.” When Forever stamps were introduced in 2007, the price per stamp was 41 cents. Overall, this is the 18th stamp rate change since 2000 and comes as Americans continue to reduce what they send via snail mail. The number of pieces of mail handled by the post office has been on the decline in recent years as more people pay bills online and fewer send physical thank you cards. In 2022, the Post Office handled around 127 billion pieces of mail compared to the high of 213.1 billion in 2006.Forever stamps aren't the only thing going up. The cost of mailing postcards is also going up, whether they are sent domestically or internationally. The cost to mail international letters is going up from $1.50 to $1.55. Package shipping costs are also expected to go up by nearly 6%, reports Fox Business. Of course, old fashioned mail still remains the most affordable way to ship anything. Can you believe that there's still a system that will take an envelope from your house, across the country to someone else's doorstep, all for just 66 cents?
The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled its first set of EV charging stations in Atlanta. Similar stations are planned for hundreds of delivery centers across the country.
Genesis Reinterprets a Concept for Winter
The X Snow Speedium hints at cold-weather EV performance
Freezing temperatures are notorious for sapping a battery's range or slowing its charging time, but Genesis with its latest concept is hinting that future owners of its electric vehicles shouldn't worry. The company just teased a new version of its X series of concepts, the first of which dates back to the original Genesis X coupe concept unveiled in 2021. The latest, dubbed the Genesis X Snow Speedium concept, was designed with cold-weather performance in mind.You'll notice the lower side air intakes on the front bumper have LED fog lights installed for better vision through the snow. It has a new set of boots in the form of subtler wheels and what Autoblog presumes are winter tires. And then on the roof, it's sporting a rack that appears to integrate a taillight of sorts as a bar across the rear. Of course, a couple sets of skis can be seen secured to said roof rack.While Genesis has publicly said that the X concept isn't destined for production, rumors have swirled that the electric coupe could actually reach showroom floors as a flagship model. Car and Driver reports that Genesis chief creative officer Luc Donckerwolke already told dealers that the convertible is on the way, but we'll probably have to wait at least a couple more years before we know if this rumor becomes reality.
CleanTechnica dives into the art and science of driving electric vehicles in cold weather.
In Other News
With the party increasingly falling in line behind Trump, polls show Haley facing double-digit deficits.
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Become a Meat Master
Why roasting is the lazy man’s shortcut to juicy, tender meat every time
Every man should know his way around a kitchen. You eat, right? So you should know how to cook. We're not saying it has to be every day, but wouldn't you like to be the guy who cooks tender, juicy meat every single time? That'd be satisfying, not to mention useful. But we also know how intimidating cooking can be—especially when it comes to meat.If you ask us, roasting is the fool-proof way to ensure a perfectly tender, juicy piece of meat. There's less pressure and less chances to mess it up. Roasting is basically three steps. Season, roast, rest. It's one of the few occasions where the path of least resistance provides a truly magnificent result. Perhaps it's why this ancient culinary technique has stood the test of time. What's happening is that you're exposing your meat to sustained dry, hot air—but unlike old-fashioned spit roasting, in which the meat was exposed to a smoky open flame, your oven provides only heat. That means flavors will come from your choice of seasoning and from how good the meat is to begin with. So preheat the oven and heed these tips, then pour yourself a drink because you're about to get your roast on.
What We’re Buying
If you've been getting by with a below-average pair of gloves—or God forbid, no gloves—then it's time to upgrade and protect your digits. And while there are countless styles out there, we think that if a man's going to have one pair of gloves, it should be a rugged leather pair. Why? Because they can do it all. Would you trust some dainty cashmere mittens to keep your hands protected while carrying firewood or shredding down the slopes? No way. Would you want to pull on some sporty ski gloves when you're just heading to drinks downtown? Again, nope. But a pair of hard-wearing natural leather gloves? They look good with any color and coat combination. They're comfortable, warm and will wear like iron. Meaning you buy a good pair—like the Red Wing version above—and they'll last you for life. But who makes the best pairs? We tested a few to bring you a solid selection to suit anyone's budget.
Give yourself time.
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